Let me list some characteristics of potential friend here, tell me what you think about someone like this, or if this reminds you of anyone:
- Never calls you.
- Is rarely on Facebook/Twitter/Google+, and never uses their chat functions.
- Will respond to about 1 in 5 invites to ‘do something’ (1 in 10 if they’re online invites).
- When asked what they like to do or if they like to go out, they respond with noncommittal “meh”.
- Doesn’t fill you in on events in their life unless you explicitly ask about said event.
Doesn’t sound like much of a friend . . . but wait! What if these are also true:
- When person finally calls you both pick up right where you left off.
- When you do manage to connect on some social network the interactions seem very substantial.
- Will randomly inform you of things they think you might like, right out of the blue, and you actually like said things.
- When you’re in trouble this person is there for you, either in person or at least emotionally, no questions asked, no judgment.
- Somehow knows what has been up with you even though you don’t know what’s been up with them.
Ring any bells? Maybe an old college or high school buddy? Past work associate?
If so, let me be the first to congratulate you on having a low maintenance friend, or LMF.
You see, LMFs are a unique breed of friend. They’re like friendship camels.
Let me explain-most friends are like dogs or cats. With dogs, they are loyal, great companions, will do all kinds of stupid stuff with you just because they like hanging around you. However, their attention span is a tad short at times. If you don’t put a certain baseline effort into the relationship the next thing you know there are holes all over your backyard, a hole under the fence, and the dog is out getting into all kinds of other mischief without you.
With cat friends you may care about them a lot, but it seems like the relationship is never quite equal. They come to you when they want to, no matter how much you call them. Sometimes they’ll come to you, but you tend to notice it’s when you have something they want. Otherwise they’re kinda indifferent to you, and if you don’t put in the work, they just mosey off and find something more comfortable for them.
Not so with LMFs. Like camels, they’re in it for the long haul. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly large gaps of time that pass between the interactions. When they do finally connect with you it will be more than just a beer, it’ll be a talk about life, love, meaning, past, and futures. Also, they’re not afraid to cross the desert with you, to be there when you need them to be.
I happen to know because I am an LMF, and I have mostly LMFs. Birds of a feather tend to flock together, I guess (couldn’t resist another animal analogy). I probably don’t call you much. I probably don’t Facebook you much. I probably don’t email you too much. But I’m there when it counts most, for sure.
So look kindly on your own LMFs- sometimes we tend to put people off with our aloof nature. Sometimes we look like party poopers, or stick-in-the-muds. Rest assured though, we probably think about you more than you would guess, and our memories with you are cherished treasures for sure.
*Dedicated to all the LMFs I know (you’ll probably read this, see you next year).